KATHMANDU, Nov. 12: Nepal advanced to the final of AFC Solidarity Cup, defeating Laos 3-0 on tiebreaker following a 2-2 draw in extra time at Negeri Stadium, Kuching of Malaysia, on Saturday.
Goalkeeper Kiran Kumar Limbu succeeded in making two dramatic saves and emerged as hero for the Nepali side that would lock horns for the title on Tuesday, November 15 against the winners of other semifinals between Macau and Brunei being late later today.
As Heman Gurung, Bikram Lama and Sujal Shreshtha converted their shots into goals for Nepal, Limbu stood as a wall against Laotian players Bounlien Bounpachack and Sitthideth Khanthavong. Chanthaphone Waenvongsoth’s out-of-target shot, however, did not pose any threat to the Nepali custodian.
Earlier, Xaisongkham Champathong made the breakthrough for Laos in the 18th minute while Nepal had to wait till two minutes of the second half to level the score through Bimal Gharti Magar’s header.
The regular time ended in a 1-1 draw and the extra time witnessed one goal each from both the sides.
Ananta Tamang’s header found the net in the 104th minute but Nepal could not take advantage of the lead because
Xaisongkham struck second goal for his team in the 117th minute and sent the game to the penalty shootout.
Nevertheless, Nepal emerged better in the penalties and won the match.
Nepal had entered the semifinals as the winners of the Group A, while Laos were the runners-up of the Group B.(THT)